‘Forget Lewis, I once met Al Pacino in Thame’

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So there I was heading for a crafty Mocha at Rumsey’s, only to be thwarted by a fictional TV detective.

For three days this week Thame’s favourite chocolate shop has been closed to allow ITV to film ‘Lewis’, the Morse spin off starring Kevin Whatsisname off Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

How exciting to have another premier TV drama filmed in our little town. I wonder why we keep getting chosen. Perhaps John Nettles could investigate?

I have to confess that I’ve never really watched Lewis, as there is not enough football or spaceships in the majority of the plots, but it did provide me with the perfect opportunity to tell you three pieces of Thame history that I know and you probably don’t. So there.

The first is kind of cool. I was going for a quiet beer one day (a recurring theme on this page) in the Six Bells. As I went in through the front door a large man in a dark suit said “Sorry, you need to go in the right hand door, sir, the left bar is closed for Mr Pacino.”

“Odd,” I thought.

“Someone named after Al Pacino the Hollywood legend drinking in the Six Bells.”

So I dutifully went to the right and as I was ordering at the bar I looked through the other side and there was Hollywood legend Al Pacino having a quiet beer. Wow. He was filming in Thame Park Manor and was with the crew, and frankly I was quite impressed but at the same time was thinking “Nobody is ever going to believe this…”

The same thing happened when my sister came home with her friend Fiona.

Well, OK, people would believe THAT because they are good friends and it happened quite a lot. But the bit that is of more interest is that Fiona was round this day because she had to stay away from home because Harrison Ford was over. Yep, Han Solo/Indiana Jones was up in Brill filming ‘Patriot Games’.

But the last filming story that I know of in Thame knocks that into a tin hat. Literally. One afternoon I was quietly sitting at home when my windows started rattling with what seemed like explosions.

Afraid that BOC had gone up, I looked out and could see nothing wrong, but when I stepped outside I could hear what I took to be gunfire and shell explosions. Silly me, why didn’t I put two and two together. Steven Spielberg was in town and using Thame Park Manor to film his latest movie. He needed somewhere to look like France, and he needed to storm a machine gun nest. Because he was making ‘Saving Private Ryan’. In Thame.

So international fame is ours and Lewis is just the latest in a long line of screen hits for the town. Anyone know any others?